When it Matters Most
Helping you navigate the difficult road of divorce and other family law matters in Rhode Island
while fighting aggressively for you and your children's best interests.
Moyer Law, PC is a full-service divorce firm in Warwick, Rhode Island providing personalized, professional service to clients across the state. Our Rhode Island divorce attorneys cover a wide range of family law matters, from divorce and separation to child custody and visitation.
Because we devote our practice exclusively to divorce and family law, you can be confident that our Rhode Island divorce lawyer is fighting for your best interests when you retain Moyer Law.
Divorce Attorneys in Rhode Island You Can Count On
At Moyer Law, PC, we understand that you need more than just a lawyer who will pass through your life like just another transaction. In sensitive matters of family law, you also need a friend and an ally with whom you can confidently face any battle. When you need a divorce attorney in Rhode Island, Attorney Don P. Moyer is more than just a lawyer – he is a trusted advocate for every client.
With more than 25 years of experience, Attorney Don Moyer has handled thousands of family law cases throughout the state. Our Rhode Island divorce attorney will take the time to understand your goals, never losing sight of the fact that we are here to help you work toward a better future.
Our RI divorce lawyers know that the decision to dissolve a marriage is not an easy one. It is a heavy decision that will impact your future, and we handle each divorce case with the care and compassion they deserve. If your marriage is facing its end, or you're curious about your options, our divorce attorneys in RI are ready to help.
Don got me absolutely everything I could have hoped for.J.K.
Thousands of Cases Successfully Handled
Personalized Service You Deserve
Honest and Knowledgeable Representation
Creative Solutions to Achieve the Best Possible Result
Exclusive Focus on Family Law Litigation
Over 25 Years of Experience
At Moyer Law, PC, our Rhode Island divorce attorneys know that filing for divorce can be stressful, emotional, and overwhelming. Our goal is to bear the legal burden on your behalf so that you can focus on your family. You deserve comprehensive, high-quality representation that keeps your needs and goals in mind. Our Rhode Island divorce lawyers take the time to really get to know our clients so that we can provide personalized service and help them make informed decisions that are best-suited for their unique situations. To put it simply: we make your family’s well-being a priority.
RI Basic Divorce Issues Overview
In an RI divorce, there are four general categories of issues that your lawyer will deal with, namely: Children, Division of Marital Estate, Alimony, and Temporary Issues. Understanding these categories will help break down the process.
Four Major Issues in a Divorce
Division of Marital Estate: The first step is to identify the marital assets and/or debt. Issues such as inheritance or pre-marital assets are relevant here. Next, you must value the assets and/or debt. Bank statements, appraisals, credit card statements, and the like help here, for example. Finally, after you determine what to divide, and its value (positive or negative), you must divide the assets. The rule of thumb is to assume a 50/50 division and vary off of that based on certain factors that may apply. As an example, the issue of fault (i.e. affairs, abuse, etc.).
Alimony: Factors such as the length of the marriage, the ability of each party to pay support, and the needs of each party are relevant here. Also, the court makes a decision regarding alimony only after making its division of the marital estate first. In an RI divorce, the courts consider alimony as “rehabilitative,” as well. Because of this, the courts will not award alimony simply due to unequal incomes. Any lawyer seeking alimony, therefore, must have a plan for their client to use the funds to “rehabilitate” themselves. For example: completing an education, or time in employment to get a promotion.
Temporary issues: Often, you will need to deal with issues such as placement of children, support, restraining orders, and use of assets (who lives in the home) prior to the final hearing on divorce. These are “temporary” issues.
How Long Does a Simple Divorce Take?
Uncontested Divorce in RI
Rhode Island has a “track” system for divorces. As a result, a divorce is either on the “Nominal Track” (such as simple divorce) or the “Contested Track.” The party filing the divorce first may choose either track from the beginning. If they choose the nominal track, the initial (hopefully only) hearing date will be about 11 weeks from filing.
Divorce Timeline in Rhode Island
If they choose contested divorce, then they will get a case status hearing date that will typically be 13 to 16 weeks from the date of filing. On the other hand, for nominal track cases, and if the Defendant has no disputes, the case may go forward as a “Nominal Hearing.” If so, you are finished with court, unless something else comes up before the Final Decree enters. However, if there is a dispute at the 11 week date, the case becomes “Contested”. And if this happens, the court will assign you a case status hearing date several weeks out.
So, assuming a nominal hearing, then the parties must then wait 90 days for the Final Decree to enter. Of course this occurs only if you filed your case under the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” The other common grounds for divorce is “living separate and apart for the space of at least 3 years.” If you file this way, however, you will only need 20 days from the nominal date to enter the Final Decree.
Managing Expectation in Rhode Island Divorce
Although you may hope and believe your divorce is a simple divorce, it takes two to make it happen. Are you on the sample page as your spouse? Even the parties who want an uncontested divorce can run into issues along the way.
Experts You Might Need During the Divorce Process
Divorce can be a complex legal process and, much like in a personal injury or criminal case, expert witness testimony is necessary for resolving disputes. A vast range of experts, such as child psychologists or accountants, can have a profound impact on the outcome of a divorce settlement. Therefore, it is crucial to work with a law firm that has access to these invaluable resources, so you can have the best possible chance of success.
Different Types of Experts Who Can Assist You
Generally, expert witnesses are only necessary when spouses cannot reach an agreement on their own and must go through the litigation process. For example, if you cannot agree on child custody, a child therapist might provide the testimony you need to support the arrangement you are seeking.
Below are some of the various experts you might need during divorce litigation:
- Child therapists or psychologists: If you are involved in a highly contested child custody case, a child psychologist can evaluate your children and provide testimony regarding the living environment that would best support their best interests.
- Real estate or property experts: Determining the value of property can be tricky, especially in a high-asset case. Whether you need to assess the value of antique furniture or your home, these experts can help ensure the value of your assets is as accurate as possible.
- Accountants: Divorce can get a little ugly at times. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, an accountant can help uncover the truth and ensure you secure your fair share of marital assets. Accountants and other financial experts are especially helpful for those who were not involved in managing their household’s finances.
- Vocational experts: These experts are generally used in cases when a spouse remained in the home to care for a family while the other pursued a career. The testimony of a vocational expert can impact the length and amount of alimony a spouse should receive.
If you have a particularly contentious or complex divorce case, you might need the assistance of one or all of these experts.
Our Approach to Divorce Representation in Rhode Island
At your initial meeting, we will walk you through the issues that often arise in divorce, ensuring you know where you stand and what to expect in your divorce. During your case, your attorney will actively ensure that you are kept informed at each stage of the legal process. To this end, our Rhode Island divorce lawyer will continually conduct cost-benefit analysis assessments of various options you face in your divorce. We want you to make smart decisions – not costly, emotional ones. Because of this, we constantly assess your goals and the cost of trying to reach them.
Our Rhode Island divorce lawyer is prepared to aggressively and diligently represent you at trial – however, we will also take the time to see if a favorable negotiated settlement is possible. You are in charge of whether your path is one of settlement or litigation.
Our divorce attorney in Rhode Island is here to provide sensitive counsel and fight for your best interests. We are passionate about finding creative solutions that are tailored to your unique needs. Whether we negotiate a settlement out of court or take the route of litigation, you can rest assured that our dedicated legal team is here for you. Through every legal document, motion, or pleading we prepare, we are aggressively advocating for our clients’ best interests. Find out how Moyer Law, PC can assist you by giving us a call today.
We know that filing for divorce or working through a difficult family matter is never easy, which is why we work closely with our clients to guide them through the process from start to finish. Our Rhode Island divorce attorney can answer your questions and protect your rights during this difficult time, so please don't wait to call.
Founded by Attorney Don P. Moyer, Moyer Law, PC is Rhode Island’s premier divorce and family law firm. We are focused exclusively on the practice of family law, extending our legal services to just about every type of family matter you could be facing.
Backed by decades of legal experience, our RI divorce lawyer can help you fight for effective and lasting solutions.
How long does it take to get a divorce in RI?
The average uncontested divorce takes between 90 and 120 days. Without any hiccups, it could be finalized in just 75 days.
Keep in mind that every case is different. A contested divorce will likely take longer.
How is property divided in a Rhode Island divorce?
Unless protected by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, any property bought or acquired during the marriage will likely be divided upon divorce. All this marital property must be divided equitably.
If divorcing spouses cannot agree on what’s fair and equitable, a family court will take care of it on their behalf.
Do I need grounds to file for divorce in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don’t need to give a reason for divorcing your spouse.
If you would like to give a reason, Rhode Island law considers the following to be grounds for divorce:
- Neglect and refusal of support for at least one year
- Living separately or apart for three years
- Gross misbehavior and wickedness
- Willful desertion for five years
- Irreconcilable differences
- Continued drunkenness
- Habitual drug use
- Extreme cruelty
What’s the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?
What’s the difference between divorce and a legal separation?
Getting a divorce means officially ending one’s marriage.
A legal separation is when a married couple decides to live apart but stay married. This gives them the opportunity to work out their differences. They can then move back in together or decide to go forward with divorce. In the meantime, they will still need to work out parenting time (if they have children), property and asset division, and any other issues that arise when a married couple chooses to live apart.
What are the residency requirements for divorce in RI?
To get a divorce in the state of Rhode Island, at least one party will need to prove they have been a resident of the state for no less than one year.
How do I choose the right divorce attorney?
The “right attorney” will vary depending on how you want to approach your divorce.
Here are just a few things to consider:
- Years of experience
- How long has the lawyer been in practice?
- At Moyer Law, PC, we have over 25 years of experience in divorce and family law.
- Primary practice area
- A lawyer who focuses their entire career on one area of the law has had the chance to develop a well-rounded understanding of that area. For that reason, it’s best to work with a lawyer who primarily practices divorce/family law.
- Our team focuses exclusively on family law, so you can rest assured that we know how to handle these cases effectively.
- Legal approach
- Think about what you want to get out of your lawyer. Do you want honest counsel and tailored legal services? Or do you want a more one-size-fits-all approach?
- We are known for our honest counsel and skilled representation. With us, you’ll get the personalized service you deserve.
- Case results
- A lawyer may check all the boxes but simply not have the case results to show for it.
- Our team has successfully handled thousands of family law cases in Rhode Island. To check out our case results, click here.
- Years of experience
Can I file for divorce without a lawyer?
Yes, but it is best to work with a lawyer for several reasons.
One is that you could end up with a settlement that isn’t in your best interest. If this is the case, it is likely that you will eventually need a lawyer to help you change the terms of the settlement—if it is even possible to change them.
With so many deeply personal topics on the table, working with a lawyer is the most cost-effective way to protect your rights and interests. From child custody and support to asset division, alimony, and more, we’ll make sure your divorce is handled the right way from the very beginning.
Family Law Representation